Recently, I visited Longfellow’s Wayside Inn in Sudbury, MA. It started out as a two bedroom home in the year of 1707. Then, in the year of 1716, it was named Howe’s Tavern. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow would frequent the tavern, and wrote his famous poems about the tavern including The Tales of the Wayside Inn. Longfellow’s Wayside Inn is the oldest operating inn in the United States, and is located on72 Wayside Inn Rd in Sudbury, MA. It’s also a famous historic landmark in Massachusetts. A history fact that we’re all familiar with is the ride of Paul Revere. Paul Revere rode all the way to Lexington, MA before being captured by a British on his way to Concord, MA. In fact, he stopped by the Tavern at Longfellow’s Wayside Inn on his way to Lexington, MA. In 1923, Henry Ford purchased Longfellow’s Wayside Inn property along with 3000 acres and added three other famous attractions to the property, which include The Grist Mill, The Martha-Mary Chapel, and The Redstone Schoolhouse. The Inn is a living museum with rooms preserved with period furniture and living history actors that are happy to share historical stories with the patrons. The dining restaurant serves tasty food and tavern provides appetizers and a full bar.
First, the grist mill was built in 1929, and operates using a water wheel to turn the mill used to produce corn meal and flour. All of the products produced from the grist mill are used in Longfellow’s Wayside Inn’s food or sold in the gift shop. Visitors who also visit the grist mill, will find the beautiful waterfall as a great place to have a picnic and take pictures when visiting Longfellow’s Wayside Inn.
Next, the Martha-Mary Chapel was built in 1940 by Henry Ford as he was developing the property. He named the chapel after his mother-in-law, Martha, and his mother, Mary. This chapel has been recognized along with the inn as a historic landmark in Sudbury, MA. It has also become a very popular destination for weddings. If you’re in the area, you will hear many great stories about Longfellow’s Wayside Inn and the Martha-Mary Chapel.
Finally, The Redstone Schoolhouse is a one room schoolhouse that taught grades one through four, and was built in the late 1700’s on Redstone Hill in Sterling, MA. Henry Ford purchased the school because it wasn’t being utilized and moved it onto the property near the Martha-Mary Chapel in Sudbury, MA at the Wayside in 1927. A fun fact about the Redstone Schoolhouse is that the nursery rhyme Mary Had A Little Lamb was based on a true event at the schoolhouse and was written by Mary’s classmate. The schoolhouse is open mid-May through mid-October, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11:30am to 5pm. The school has been restored to a one room classroom, and is a great place to stop for a little history lesson of Mary Had a Little Lamb. The onsite historian was happy to share stories of the times about what went on throughout the school day years ago. It is a great place to take the kids for a live history lesson.
Finally, Longfellow’s Wayside Inn is a great place to go if you want to learn some history about Longfellow’s Wayside Inn, The Grist Mill, The Martha-Mary Chapel, and The Redstone Schoolhouse. I highly recommend visiting if you are in the area of Sudbury, MA. If you are interested in checking out Longfellow’s Wayside Inn online, click here: http://www.wayside.org
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